Two weekends ago, after our disastrous attempt at CKC Rally, Bear and I attended an agility trial hosted by Canine Agility Racers here in Brandon.
I entered this trial weeks ago but to be honest, I was not looking forward to it at all – mostly because I was exhausted. A trip to Calgary plus the fact that Sean has been immobile due to surgery has meant a lot of work, a lot of driving, as well as, cooking, cleaning and shoveling snow for 2 when I usually have help. Did I mention I teach two classes a week and attend two with Bear (1 in person, 1 online). This leaves very little time for sleep and I felt like a zombie – a tearful, tired zombie.
I did go, however, because it is a local trial (no travel expenses), Bear has been working very nicely in agility class (when we can make it), and I was hoping we would qualify in at least one snooker run and be able to finish our SGDC title.
On Saturday, we started the day with a nice jumpers run, very little barking, no sniffing and only one refusal – I was very pleased.
Then things went down hill with both Advanced Standard runs. So bad in fact that at one point, I just decided to call it and leave the ring. I was way too frustrated to deal with the amount of barking that was coming my way. To be honest, most of our problems were handling (my fault) weave pole related.
At the end of the day was our Starters Snooker run. I decided to try the 7 point obstacle 4 times. We managed to do it 3 times and collect 34 points overall to and earning our Starters Games Dog of Canada Title! We earned the first leg of this title back in New Brunswick in 2007 so I was thrilled to finish it.
On Sunday, things went a little bit better. Our first run of the day was the Advanced Gamble. We collected enough points in the opening sequence and made it to the third obstacle in the gamble but Bear could not leave the tunnel alone. The distance was not too far – he just could not think through his insanity. The Advanced Standard run was equally bad with a lot of general stupidness around the weave poles.
By the time we got to the Advanced Snooker run, I was hopeful…there were weave poles in the closing sequence but if we managed to complete the 7 point obstacle 4 times, we would have enough points to qualify – we went for it. The 7 point obstacle was the teeter which Bear loves and the 2o2o contact we have slows him down enough to keep the insanity at bay. We managed to keep it together enough to get to the teeter 4 times so I decided to try for the closing sequence but stop before we even got to the weaves to finish on a good note. This plan worked and we managed to qualify for a second time that weekend in our first Advanced Snooker run!
The last run of the weekend was an Advanced Jumpers run. The first half of the course was a bit tricky…with some tight crosses and call offs but I knew if we could get past the first half that the ending would be fine, it was basically a giant jump line…Bear’s favorite! Bear was very attentive, there was a bit of grumbling at my late crosses but no barking and we finished the jumpers run cleanly earning our 3rd qualifying ribbon if the weekend.
Looking back, I am actually kicking myself for not practicing the weave poles more. If we had managed to get every weave entry, we likely would have Q’d in at least 2 of the 3 Standard runs over the weekend.
My winter agility project is to make our weave entries as predictable and successful as our contacts – in the last 15 runs, Bear has only missed a contact once….If we can do that, then I actually think we might be able to get to the Masters Level before Bear turns 10!
A girl can always dream.